People make us worry sometime. People and books. There are some who aren’t always so sure about a boy with two mummies. It seems a girl with two mummies is okay but a boy needs a daddy, to teach him how to be a man. We read books that tell us the importance of the father figure, the male role model in the home for both girls and boys. And it’s a worry. We didn’t really think about this when we decided to have children; it didn’t seem important.
We look at three-year-old Willow and he has some typical male traits because he is a boy and some typical female traits because he has two mummies...or maybe not…
Willow’s vocabulary has always been unusually advanced for his age; when he’s climbing trees he’ll say if it’s “precarious.” He loves orange. He likes pink second best and is looking forward to having his sister’s pink coat as a hand-me-down. Willow is mostly in role as a fox cub, probably because foxes are orange. He wants to be big and strong. He knows he is a boy because he has a penis and he knows that one day he’ll be a man and will probably be bigger than all of us. We don’t tend to suggest he wears dresses but we think he’d quite like to if he had more opportunity. Willow loves tools – his toy drill, his jigsaw, his hammer. But he prefers the real tools in the garage. Until I use the hammer drill, and then he runs away because it’s too noisy. In the garden or in the park he comments on how pretty the flowers are. He finds sticks to bang against things or use as tools. He loves the bow and arrow I made for him. When I pretend to be a dragon and chase him, he runs away, squealing, his long hair flowing behind him – “Mummy,” he says, as he brushes it, “look how I’ve made my hair all lovely”.
Willow is a boy, but more importantly he’s a human, as we, his mothers, are human. He’s a person who needs to learn to respect others and to command respect from them. He doesn’t need anyone to teach him to be a man – he needs loving parents who will allow him to grow into his own adult self as unhindered by the nasty clutter of gender stereotypes as possible.